Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sadistic Mika Band-st,LP,1973(or 1974),Japan

Sadistic Mika Band was formed in 1972 by guitarist/vocalist Kazuhiko Kato - previously a member of the popular Folk Crusaders, who had scored several number one hits. Fronted by Kato's wife, media personality Mika, Sadistic Mika Band released the single "Cycling Boogie", followed up by the full length Sadistic Mika Band in 1973. The music was hard rock with a distinctive Japanese nuance, and a far cry from the folk music Kato had been playing in the popular but formulaic Folk Crusaders. The first album made a minor splash in Japan, but listeners were at first not sure how to deal with the band's progressive sound, which theretofore had only been heard from from foreign bands. Perhaps because of this style, the record was released in the UK on the Harvest Records label, and caught the attention of some music critics and fans, including Ian MacDonald of New Musical Express, who declared that the band made Iggy and the Stooges sound like the Amadeus String Quartet. The band decided to record their second album in London with producer Chris Thomas, who had produced Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Procul Harum, and others, and was already a fan of the band. The result was Kurobune (Black Ship) - a quantum stylistic and musical leap forward from its predecessor that charted highly in Japan, and was again released by Harvest Records in the UK. Although not a commercial success in England, the record was hailed by critics as a seminal work, receiving numerous accolades at home as well, including nods for number one band and album of 1974 from the Japanese edition of Rolling Stone. In the summer of 1975 the band recorded its third album, again with Thomas manning the board. Released the same year, Hot! Menu boasted some English lyrics for the first time, and saw the band in a more playful mood, while still showing off their impressive chops and compositional depth. The band joined Roxy Music in the summer of 1975 on a tour of Britain, and it appeared they might crack the elusive foreign market, but Kato suddenly left the following summer after it was discovered that Mika had been conducting an affair with Thomas. The band slogged forward for two more releases - Sadistics (1977) and We Are Just Taking Off (1978) - before breaking up. They reformed for a tour in 1985 as Sadistic Yuming Band, fronted by vocalist Yumi Matsutoya, and released an album of new material in 1989 called Appare with Karen Kirishima on vocals, performing several shows in support of it before calling it quits for good. By this time, several of the members were already megastars in Japan - in particular Yukihiro Takahashi, who along with Haruo Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto formed the legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra. Takahashi continues to perform with Hosono in their duo, Sketch Show. Kato has only periodically recorded since the band broke up for good, mostly staying out of the limelight.
For Mr. Ommyth that requested it!More to come!

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ommyth said...

And Mr. Ommyth thanks you... Mutant Sounds has been on an extraordinary tear of late - bravo, good sirs!

Robert said...

Wow! I was just thinking about this one (and its British-made follow-up, still reputed to be one of the "most important" records in Japan rock history).

Anonymous said...

Great album -- I just picked it up on a trip to tokyo last moth. Any chance you have a copy of their third release?

Gianni aka Cesare Barbetta said...

thank you

elizium52 said...

Thanks a lot - this was one of the Harvest albums I thought I would have great difficulty finding - will make an interesting listen I'm sure - all the best